Category Archives:
Middle East

Bearing witness: a review of Alice Rothchild’s book ‘Condition Critical’

Hatim Kanaaneh on

In her book, “Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine” Dr. Alice Rothchild emotes courage and sincerity to a degree that begs analysis: Who is she addressing and to what end? The book’s title answers the latter of the two interrelated questions: All those who are genuinely concerned with Israel/Palestine should better rush to resuscitate their critically ill charge before it is too late because “the Israeli government is on a suicide mission.” All through her book Dr. Rothchild bears witness to how critical and unjust the condition is.

Confronting apartheid has everything to do with feminism

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James on

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James write: “Attacking the International Women’s Strike on March 8, supporters of Israel argued that the decolonization of Palestine has no place in feminism and further asked if there is a place for Zionists in the feminist movement. We turn the question around and ask if the occupation of Palestine, the bombings of Gaza, the apartheid that applies two separate and unequal systems to Israel’s relationship to Palestinians – can be compatible with feminism? While Israel’s apologists were posing such questions, the Israeli army, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was busy shutting down two events in Jerusalem marking International Women’s Day.”

Gerald Kaufman – From Labour Zionist to Israel’s bitterest critic

Tony Greenstein on

Gerald Kaufman, who died on February 26th 2017 at the age of 86, served as a member of Parliament for 47 continuous years and became the Father of the House of Commons. In his early years as an MP Kaufman was a strong supporter of the Israeli state and was a member of both Labour Friends of Israel and Poalei Zion, the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party. Tony Greenstein writes, “Perhaps the most fitting tribute to Gerald Kaufman that there can be was that he wasn’t a hypocrite. Kaufman had grown up with Labour Zionism and its myth of making the desert bloom, but unlike most supporters of Zionism in the Labour Party today, Gerald Kaufman was sincere in wanting to see a two-state solution. For him it wasn’t a convenient cover for an apartheid Greater Israel. Kaufman was quite sincere in his hostility to Israeli rule over millions of Palestinians and he didn’t hesitate to speak out against the occupation and repression that it entailed.”

If baseball coverage of Team Israel is ‘the story of Israel itself,’ then we should not forget the Palestinians

Aubrey Bloomfield on

The media has embraced Team Israel’s unlikely success at the World Baseball Classic, referring to the team as a “Cinderella” story, “David and Goliath,” and a “fairy-tale.” In this “softball” coverage, Israel—home to the most powerful military in the Middle East and a cruel system of apartheid directed at the Palestinian people—gets to be the plucky, lovable underdog. Writing in the Forward, David Hazony argues “Team Israel is very much the story of Israel itself,” but central to the story of Israel itself is also the dispossession and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their lands and a decades-long occupation.

Character assassination as a tool to silence a Palestinian activist

Malaka Mohammed on

Israel advocates have sought to smear Malaka Shwaikh, a Palestinian-Gazan student at the UK’s Exeter University, as an anti-Semite and terrorist sympathizer by distorting tweets she made about Palestinian resistance and the use of the Holocaust to enable Israeli crimes.

Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization

Allan C. Brownfeld on

On the 75th anniversary of the American Council for Judaism, Allan C. Brownfeld writes about how the group has challenged the Zionist philosophy which holds that Israel is the “homeland” of all Jews. He explains how the group advanced the philosophy of Judaism as a religion of universal values, not a nationality, and has maintained that Americans of Jewish faith are American by nationality and Jews by religion — just as other Americans are Protestants, Catholics or Muslims.

Iran beats US for wrestling world cup, but you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC

Robert Visznevski on

When Donald Trump stopped all incoming travelers from seven primarily-Muslim countries, Iran was on the list. Iran retaliated by blocking all Americans from traveling to Iran, including the U.S. wrestling team who were scheduled to compete in the annual wrestling version of the World Cup. When the ban got knocked down stateside, the Iranians relented and the plot thickened when it all came down to the U.S. vs. Iran in the finals. You might think a sports drama like that would be of interest to the media. But NBC, who had rights to cover the event, instead opted for a blackout on it.

Transnational meetings & meals of resistance: Palestinian-Chileans show solidarity with the Mapuche, an indigenous nation of South America in active struggle for self-determination 

Devin G. Atallah on

Dr. Devin Atallah, a Palestinian-Chilean psychologist chronicles his participation in the ‘First Session of the Mapuche Constituent Assembly.’ The Mapuche are the largest first nation and most populous indigenous group in Chile. Atallah calls the gathering “one of the most powerful and meaningful collective manifestations of decolonization that I have witnessed.” It leads him to organize “Meals of Resistance” in Santiago with members of the Mapuche indigenous group, Chilean allies, and members of the Palestinian-Chilean community, who all come together to show solidarity, share freedom foods and stories of resistance and resilience.

Trump has reminded Palestinians that it was always about one state

Jonathan Cook on

Donald Trump’s ambivalence over the one-state or two-state solution is a supremely clarifying moment. Both Israelis and Palestinians must now define what it really wants to fight for: a fortress for their tribe alone, or a shared homeland ensuring rights and dignity for all.

Jews in Iran: a travelogue

Yakov Rabkin on

Yakov Rabkin travels to Iran where he meets with local Jews. He writes, “One should not idealize the life of Jews in Iran who have had their share of challenges. But their life stands in contrast to a well-oiled campaign to besmirch the history of Jewish-Muslim relations in order to suit a political agenda, the agenda of those who argue that there is no safe place for Jews except Israel.”

The emergence of the Just Jew

Yoav Litvin on

When Netanyahu embraced Trump, he exemplified the collusion between Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism. In fact, it is now clear that the Israeli government cannot protect- and does not represent liberal Jews who wish to live in peace within diverse communities around the world, or within Israel itself.

Trump’s dim view of Palestine-Israel

Luke Peterson on

Donald Trump’s seismic departure from decades of stated U.S. intentions in Palestine and Israel naturally begs the question: if not a two-state solution, then what kind of solution does he envision?

Poll: Canada’s politicians drastically out of touch with public on Israel

Dimitri Lascaris on

A new poll finds that 46 percent of Canadians, including a majority of those who support every party but the Conservatives, hold a negative view of Israel. The Canadian government is seen to have a pro-Israel bias by 61 percent of respondents, while 91 percent do not think criticism of Israeli government policy is necessarily anti-semitic. These results suggest that Canada’s big political parties are out of step with Canadians on these issues.